Category Archives: Slice of Life

Seven Years

Yesterday something big happened. Something that I’ve waited patiently (and here lately impatiently) since the day I ended my student teaching back in 2010. I had an interview at 10:20 AM for a 4th grade and Kindergarten position at my childhood elementary school. At the end of the interview I was told that the only way I’d receive a call if I was the successful applicant. I knew that. I’ve been told that several times in the last seven years. At 12:46 PM my phone rang. Let me repeat that….IT RANG!

I’m now the newest staff member at my childhood elementary school for 4th grade! I tried so hard to remain professional but my new principal mistook my silence for not wanting the position. I told her that wasn’t the case at all.

I went in today to see my room & that was an adventure in itself.  The main entrance was closed because the hallway was being waxed. The rest of the doors were locked & I didn’t have my key yet. Ten minutes later my former 8th grade Lit teacher pulled in and he let me in. After meeting with the principal again and getting my account set up so I can order stuff I was taken to my room. I had forgotten how big the classrooms were!


I was able to move a bookcase, a couple tables, one computer desk since it was on the carpeted area & two book cubbies on wheels. I have two very tall and heavy cabinets that need moved and my desk. When I go up tomorrow I’ll grab two of the college boys that are helping out to move said items. After that I can really begin setting everything up.


I love the view I have from my windows & it’s going to look gorgeous in the fall.


Excited doesn’t even begin to cover the feelings I’m feeling right now! I’ll post again once I have more of my room set up. A part of me still can’t believe it’s finally happened. But I give credit to my long term sub job last fall when I had a 4th grade class from September to January. It gave me the confidence to answer all of their questions about centers, keeping a positive classroom environment, and what amount of experience I could bring to a grade level PLC meeting. Here’s to the 2017-2018 school year!


Down Country Roads

Windows rolled down. Car AC off. Partly cloudy skies with a breeze rustling through the tall grass.


The goldfinches were fluttering about the tall grass along the side of the road constantly. And they never flew away in a straight line. They seemed to fly up in a tornado like motion.


As I was driving along I came across these benches along the side of the road. It’s a part of someone’s property and at first I was unsure of whether or not to stop to take the picture. But on the way back through I did and once I got out of the car I took the time to read the sign.


So I locked my car and went and sat on that bench for a bit. Closing my eyes I allowed myself to relax and re-center. The past few weeks have been stressful and while that stress is subsiding it was still nice to take the time to just pause and enjoy nature for a bit. During my time sitting there several birds flew by, a couple of butterflies flitted by, and one bee kept me company while it was tending to the pollen on the nearby flowers. The silence was only interrupted by a couple of cars driving by but that’s the joy of living in the country. The everyday sounds of the city are non-existent and you just have time to sit and be in peace. Someday I’m going to live there.

20170723_152147This was my view from the bench & even though it’s cloudy I still found it to be perfect. I’m thinking of getting up early one morning and making my way up here again for a sunrise. Possibly an autumn sunrise. I can’t wait to re-visit this spot during the autumn. But knowing me I’ll probably go back sooner because you honestly can’t beat the country.

A Breath of Fresh Air

Spring is slowly beginning to change over to summer. The temperatures are rising, it’s staying daylight longer, my summer sky is beginning to make an appearance, and the peonies are in full bloom.  Ever since I was a little girl I’ve loved these flowers.  Someday when I have a house I intend on planting a whole row of these just like my grandmother used to have in her backyard.


In other news my photographer sent me a link to let me see all of the photos from my boudoir shoot and they are BEAUTIFUL! I can’t believe the woman in these photos are me, but Jodi worked her magic and there are so many I can’t decide. But one of my favorites that I can share here is this one:

20170513_011329 I still can’t believe I did this but I’m so glad I did. I see a woman who is confident, fearless, and self accepting of all of her curves and scars. I would do this again in a heartbeat.

I promise I’m going to try to keep this up a little better. School is winding down and that means I’ll have more time to write. It’s been from lack of time not inspiration.

Sunday Adventures

Sunday was a wonderful day. Church was great and it was wonderful to be surrounded by my church family again. I think next Sunday Georgia will be attending church with her grandmother. I LOVE when she’s there because she’s this bright and energetic 2nd grader.  When I got home after lunch my little fluffball was waiting on me. She knew it was Sunday which means car ride day with me. I changed and took her out to the car.  She was so excited as we drove to the park. She loves to watch the ducks. I call them her live squeaky toys.


The sky was really blue that day and I could smell summer in the air. It also didn’t hurt that the temperature was 90 either. There was a breeze but that didn’t deter me from sitting on my grandmother’s back porch with a book & my Sunday relaxation playlist playing on Spotify.


I kind of like reading while sitting in a swing. Butterflies kept fluttering by & the birds were chirping up a storm in the holly tree. I sat out there for thirty minutes then went inside to visit Mam for a little bit. As I was walking back home (barefoot because it felt like a summer night) I looked up and noticed the sky was my summer sky. I can’t wait for summer 2017 to arrive.



Latin Grooves

The past two nights our regular Zumba instructor has been on vacation. Typically we cancel class while she’s gone, but this week we had a new instructor. She is a brand new one and she’s hoping to teach a class on Saturdays. She was a little nervous yesterday but we all welcomed her and told her to just relax. By the second song she was smiling and  had all of us excited.

Her routines were all Latin-based like a true Zumba class should be and she had a playlist. Now I love our usual instructor but she plays a song then looks for the next one & our heart rate kind of dips. I’m hoping that there is enough interest that the Saturday class will become part of the weekly schedule. Tonight she was nervous again because only three people were there when she showed up. She was truly pleased when eight people walked up the stairs and then four more. It was a nice size class and a lot of the same from the night before. She said later she was afraid we wouldn’t like her class because she wasn’t our usual instructor. At the end of class tonight she thanked all of  again and told us that we really helped build her confidence as an instructor by cheering and giving her positive feedback. We all grinned and told her, “We do this for a living.” She was a little confused and then we told her that we are all teachers and encouraging was kind of in our job description. She thanked us again and told us all of our students were really lucky to have us as their teacher because of how positive we were.

She was right and this is why we as educators always need to remember our words matter. These kids come to us five days a week and sometimes we’re the only bit of positivity they get. That’s why I always stay true to my 2 positives for each negative rule. That way my students don’t feel discouraged and their creativity isn’t stifled.

Books & Stranger Things

It’s been a week since I last posted. I really meant to post another time last week. But then I re-discovered my love of reading. So far I’ve read:

  1. How to Be a Bawse-Lilly Singh
  2. Small Horrors: A Collection of Fifty Creepy Stories-Darcy Coates
  3. Kicking Mediocrity in The Crotch-Staci Fonner (personal friend)
  4. Cruel Sacrifice-Aphrodite Jones

I’m currently reading With a Doubt-Marcia Clark.

The other reason I didn’t post? Two words: Stranger Things. I had heard rave reviews about it but I just now found the time to watch it. It was AMAZING! Last night I started re-watching it again. And I even found the soundtrack on Spotify to listen to & I love it. The music is completely 80s and that has led to me listening to 80s music a lot more too. I can’t wait until October to binge watch season 2.

I know this isn’t up to par based on prior writings but I’m exhausted. The last two night’s at the gym have been rough. I swear my trainers are trying to kill us.

Be a Bawse

Last week a book I pre-ordered last July arrived. It’s called How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life. It’s by a YouTube personality that goes by Superwoman, but her real name is Lilly Singh. I happen to stumble upon her videos three years ago and ever since then I’ve followed her on a majority of social media. When I heard that she was writing a book last summer I originally thought she’d be writing an autobiography & when the title of the book was released I thought it was an interesting title for an autobiography.

Last week when the book arrived I dove right in and I wasn’t expecting to be hit with such thought-provoking quotes and advice.  Thrown in between a few chapters there were segments titled Out of the Blue. On the left side Lilly wrote about a time when her depression was affecting her life with a blue background while on the right side on a vibrant yellow background was a more recent time how she flipped the way she was feeling in a more recent year. As she says in the book depression doesn’t go away. You don’t magically wake up one morning all bright and happy and think, ‘my depression is gone! It will never bother me again!’ I wish it did work that way, but she’s right. I’ve had bouts of it since 2007. Not quite as severe but I knew what was happening again and yet I couldn’t stop it. And the even scarier part was I wasn’t caring that it was happening again.


Fall of 2007 was a defining moment for me.  There are days when I’m feeling down but then I take a moment to look back at that moment and I look at how far I’ve come.  It wasn’t easy but I rose from a very low point and I dusted myself off and set out to prove my worst enemy (myself) wrong.

There were other moments in this book that made me stop and do a little self-reflection. When I finished this book I went back and jotted down the side quotes that left an impact on me personally. What I’m going to do with these notes I’m not sure yet but what I do know is I want to put them somewhere I can read them everyday. Almost like a way to start my day on a positive note and be motivated for the day.

And if you’re asking yourself if you’re a Bawse my suggestion is read the book and find out.


It’s March 31st and that means that this 31 Slice of Life Challenge has come to a close.  I can’t believe how quickly it flew by. As a first time slicer I went into this challenge telling myself that I would try to have quality content in every single on of my posts. Did I succeed in doing that? No. A few of them were short and not my greatest and that’s only because I was exhausted that day and I knew if I had kept writing it would’ve been a rambling mess.

First I’d like to thank for setting up this writing challenge. I feel that I grew not only as a writer through this challenge but as an educator too. By being reflective at the end of each day it helped me learn how to be a little more patient or a little more encouraging. I’ve met so many new incredible educators over the past month and allow me to say that your students are lucky to have each of you as their teacher.

Over the course of the past thirty-one days I’ve learned the following things:

  • Writing is easy when you don’t box yourself in and think you need to write about a certain topic.
  • I shouldn’t be afraid to put myself out there a little more. I really dove into some personal events and thoughts a few times. Each time the responses blew me away in just how supportive you were.
  • Sometimes the smallest things can provide you with inspiration.
  • I’ve fallen in love with blogging daily. I think I’m going to try to blog three times a week and write about more than just my daily workouts.

And one thing I’m very sure of is that I’m already looking forward to next year’s Slice of Life Challenge.  To those of you that took the time to comment on my posts thank you. Those comments allowed me to grow as a writer. And it also allowed me to feel how my students feel when they present their writings to me. They often stand next to me nervous but they light up when I leave them positive feedback. That’s exactly how I felt each time one of you commented. Sometimes I think as educators we kind of forget what it’s like to receive critique from the student POV. I hope all of you stick around and read my slices occasionally. The challenge may be over but I still have a lot to write about it. And I definitely plan to take part in the Tuesday Slices.


Today was our school’s talent show.  It was set for the afternoon and the contestants were excited. There were fourteen acts ranging from dancers to instrumentalists. We even had one 4th grader be the in-between acts entertainment.  All of the kids were great and they were fearless. If they were nervous they never showed it. There were two 5th grade girls that sang a duet and their voices blended beautifully! A 3rd grader performed Dolly Parton’s “Coat of Many Colors” and she had such an innocence to her voice. Of course that song has personal meaning to me because it made me think of all the vacations with my grandparents. I found myself fiddling with my Origami Owl necklace during that performance. Three of my 4th grade girls came over and sat around me when they saw me doing that. They knew what it meant. However they didn’t realize that was about to make me really cry because that small gesture meant a lot to me. The final act was a trio of girls who sang “Fight Song” and one of them was a 4th grader that is pretty outgoing but I had no idea she could sing! At the end of the show I found her she latched onto me and asked, “Ms. Barrick, what did you think?” Her eyes were brimming with hope and the second I told her that I loved her voice she nearly toppled me over with her hug. Another 4th grade girl, who danced, came running over to me and asked what I thought. I told her that her moves were awesome and I was glad that this year she was healthy. She was going to dance last year but came down with a high grade fever and the flu the day before the show. She was so mad at herself for becoming sick.

Before we went to this show I told my group of 5th graders that I expected better behavior from them than from the previous assembly. I told them that if the thought crossed their mind to heckle or jeer any of the acts that it would be automatic detention and we would be making a trip to the front office. I told them them that it takes a lot of courage to get up on stage alone for an audition. But it takes just as much, if not a little more, courage to perform in front of their peers. During the entire show none of them goofed off or made any negative comments. For this 5th grade class that’s a huge accomplishment.

I was proud of all of the kids that performed today. For just a moment they were fearless and oh how they shined!